Anneli Pierce

1 of 7
Nate first encountered Anneli Pierce and Stefhan Markstrom, a Swedish couple, around the hotel in Arugam Bay, Sri Lanka. After the tsunami hit, and Nate was able to climb off a rooftop, he was trying to walk back to the hotel. Along the way he spotted Anneli. She told him to run for higher ground because another wave was coming.

How did she know such a thing? "I worked as a journalist a couple of years ago and I did a feature story on tsunamis in Hawaii," Anneli says. "I spoke with some professionals in Hawaii about how a tsunami works in the minutes between the waves, and what you should do during a tsunami. After the first wave, when we went through the laundry, I walked down to the Galaxy Hotel, and I saw that all the buildings were gone. And I also walked down to the beach because I wanted to see if it only was a really high tidal wave or if it was a tsunami. When I saw the ocean floor, and that the whole ocean was gone, I knew that this is a tsunami. This is really big. Run for your life!"